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20 | Bulletin vol. 34 no. 1 No matter where you are in your clinical training, it is never too late to seek out a mentor. Maybe you are just starting your doctoral program and are unsure of what to expect or what direction you want to go with your degree; a mentor can help you with that. Maybe you are in the middle of your program and you have discovered an area you want to specialize in or a topic you want to publish research on; a mentor can help with that. Or maybe you are getting ready to apply for internship or post-doc and you are unsure of where to apply or what you could do to make your application stand out; a mentor can help with that too! Having a mentor throughout your training can be the ace in your pocket and provide you with the support you need to successfully get through your doctoral program and feel prepared to work within the field of neuropsychology. The goal of this article is to help trainees understand the benefits of having a mentor throughout their clinical training as well as to provide the necessary steps to obtaining a mentor. The article first defines what a mentor is and how a mentor is different from a supervisor or an academic advisor. The article then explores the benefits of having a mentor and how it can be a key part of your professional development. Lastly, recommended steps to obtaining a mentor are discussed as well as how to make the most out of your mentorship experience. The content in this article comes from my personal experience on obtaining my mentorship, research on graduate students with and without mentors, and from information provided by different psychological resources such as NAN, APA, and AACN. I hope that this guide serves as a way to convince you of the importance of mentorship and encourages you to begin the process of establishing a mentorship if you do not already have one. What is a Mentor and Why Should I Get One? Before exploring the purpose and benefits of having a mentor throughout your training, it is important to first understand the difference between a mentor, a supervisor, and an academic advisor. When you first began your doctoral program, I am sure you were assigned an academic advisor. An academic advisor is responsible for helping you meet the requirements of your doctoral program so that you are on track and eligible for graduation. They typically focus on more administrative tasks and short-term assignments. A supervisor, like those at your practicum training sites, is responsible for overseeing your clinical work and training you to be able to someday independently practice in the field. A mentor is more of a guide and seeks to help the mentee reach their own goals and aspirations through providing guidance, motivation, emotional support, and role modeling. Although the line between a supervisor and a mentor can be somewhat blurred, a key difference between the two is often the power dynamic in the relationship and the terms of the relationship. In a supervisory relationship, the relationship is interdependent, with the supervisor holding the power and the relationship often ending after your training rotation ends. Within a mentoring relationship, the mentor does not use power to direct actions and instead the relationship is focused on the mentee becoming independent of the mentor. A mentoring relationship may last for life and evolve as the competencies of the mentee change. Now that we have unpacked the differences between these roles, let's explore why having a mentor in conjunction with your academic advisor and supervisors can be enormously beneficial throughout your training. • Researchers have found that mentees generally perform better in their programs and are more successful after they get out of school • Students tend to get tied into the mentor's network of colleagues, creating more open doors • Graduate students with mentors are likely to be more satisfied with their programs, be more involved in professional organizations, and have a stronger sense of professional identity • Mentored individuals often earn higher performance evaluations, higher salaries, and faster career progress than non-mentored individuals • Certain topics that are traditionally not discussed in the classroom, such as close guidance on networking, navigating the post-graduation working world, acquiring publishing and business-of practice skills, and other areas necessary for the successful passage of a graduate student to early-career neuropsychologist can all be addressed within a mentorship • Mentors can provide support and clarity about the path to reaching the mentee's goals • Mentors often help connect the mentee with different opportunities that the mentee may not have found on their own • Mentorship can help trainees translate both personal and professional experiences into lessons for professional development • Mentors can provide impartial advice and encouragement, improve self-confidence, and offer individual recognition and encouragement. • A mentor can help to identify and skills gaps in the mentees training and offer an insider perspective on navigating their chosen career • A mentor can enhance the mentees confidence and offers challenges to set higher goals, take risks and achieve at advanced levels Searching for and Obtaining a Mentor Hopefully, I have convinced you that having a mentor is important and can be a huge advantage throughout your training. Now, you are probably left wondering, "Well, how do I find one of these magical mentors?" It's important to note that mentorships can develop in a variety of different ways, purposefully, naturally, or even accidentally. The following is meant to serve as a guide for those unsure of where to start. Blair Honsey, M.A. Mentorship Accessing Mentors as a Trainee

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